8 Tips to Select a Supplier for  Hospitality Supplies

8 Tips to Select a Supplier for Hospitality Supplies

Posted by Judson Uhre on Mar 18th 2019

How you Select a Supplier for Hospitality Supplies?

Selecting the right type of supplier will depend on different factors. Historically, hoteliers viewed acquiring hotel or restaurant supplies as a support function, so as a result, purchasing consisted of little more than going online, logging into your suppliers' website, and buying towels, sheets, ect. in a routine manner. Until recently, Hotel Supplies received minimal emphasis and little recognition for its role in achieving profit objectives and costs containment goals. Some small owner-operated hotels or motels considered purchasing "just picking up the telephone and calling in an order," here the busy manager with many responsibilities besides purchasing room supplies won't reap the value to undertake the extensive time necessary to lower product costs with few rooms.

In larger hotels, the number of rooms and purchasing costs can get extensive. And so a more traditional approach of controlling costs happen after supplies reach the property, not necessarily before that point. While many operators in the hospitality industry have always been concerned about quality, other aspects of purchasing, such as working with suppliers, developing creative pricing plans, and understanding its specific market, can create more value for Hoteliers.

Today, managers must recognize the need to maximize value for their lodging property and their guests. Hotel Supplies should no longer be considered a simple matter of ordering needed products; the economic and operational benefits derived from working with your hotel supplier are too great to disregard.

Each business has different standards when it comes to picking a supplier in the hospitality industry. Here is a general guideline that will help in making the right decision when selecting a supplier.

1. Know Your Target Market Needs

If you don't know the needs of your target market, you won't know whether a supplier offers the products that fit your guests' criteria. Therefore Hoteliers must focus on their guest's needs.
Excellent hospitality companies closely monitor the changing needs of their target markets. Winning hotel operators continually aim to meet or exceed their guest expectations. For instance, if you are buying a bedsheet, find out the minimum thread count and fabric your guest requires to enjoy a comfortable experience.
Its the hoteliers' responsibility to define their target markets and the guests need as accurately and precisely as possible.
In selecting a hotel supplier, management must continually answer the following questions:

  • What does my Guest value, and at what cost?
  • What is the bottom line effect of offering these products to my guests?
  • How can we maximize the value received by our hotel and the value perceived by our guests using the supplies and amenities that we offer?

Only after answering these questions and fully understanding the quality and cost criteria can management develop a list of room, pool, and restaurant supplies and assess suppliers. And this will make it easy to select the best supplier for hospitality products.

2. Consistent Quality

The supplier that you select should offer consistent quality products. Consistent quality is essential, particularly in the hospitality industry.

You need to ensure that every product is without any defect. Customer associate poor quality with bad service. Even one bad customer experience can have a major effect on the bottom-line.

3. Define Value as an Essential Concern

Hospitality managers need to understand the direct relationship between buying hotel supplies and the value received. This value gets defined when managers attempt to quantify every component of value. In general, these components are a mixture of quantitative and qualitative properties.
Institute for Supply Management (ISM) has developed a concise definition of value. According to ISM, "value is a systematic study of the function of an item or system for the purpose of identifying unnecessary cost, which can be eliminated without impairing the capacity of the item or system to perform as required." ISM's definition suggests that before value can be determined, the function of an item must be systematically researched. The value of cost must be understood and classified as essential and non-essential.
Naturally, managers will eliminate the non-essential costs as they do not affect the performance of the item or system. 
Every professional hotelier will have a slightly different definition of value-based upon his or her business experiences and their target markets. Thus it is management's responsibility to determine the value of the hotel supplies they choose. 

4. Select Reputable Wholesale Suppliers

Buying unbranded products is a big risk. And hotels and restaurants can’t afford to risk on quality to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

That’s why you need to make sure that you select suppliers that deal with reputable brands. This will ensure that you get the best products for your guests.

5. Prioritize Needs of Guests

You should never sacrifice quality for the price. Your guests deserve the best. And if they find the best hospitality products in the guest room, they are more likely to pay a premium for the stay.

Look at the supplier through the eyes of the guests. Ask yourself if as a hotel guest you will like the products sold by a supplier. If the answer is no, you should look elsewhere.

6. Good Customer Feedback

Before selecting a supplier, it’s a good idea to read about customer reviews. For B2C retailers, you can read a review on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s Lists, and others. But this is not the case with B2B suppliers.

Consider asking for names of existing clients. If the supplier can name a lot of reputable businesses as clients, it gives an indication of reliability. Selecting a supplier with no or little clients is risky since there is no guarantee that you will get quality products.

7. Local Suppliers

You should select a local supplier for hospitality products. Always prefer online suppliers who are located in your country.

Buying from international online supplier is not without risks.

International online suppliers are not subject to local laws and regulations. You cannot claim in court in case of fraud or defective products. On the other hand, you are more likely to recover money if bought from a local online supplier.

Local suppliers also offer the best price on products. They don’t have to ship products from abroad. As a result, they will be more likely to offer you products at a lower cost. This in addition to quality products will make their offering more value for money.

8. Have a Framework

Make sure that you have a framework for the selection of a supplier. The supplier selection process should start with the exact products required for your restaurant or hotel business.

Next, you should set criteria for selecting suppliers as mentioned earlier. After you have clearly established the criteria, you should assess or pre-qualify the suppliers, and finally select the best supplier.

By selecting the best supplier for hotel supplies, you will be able to reduce operational costs and optimize customer satisfaction. The above tips will help you in selecting the best supplier for hospitality products.

Hotels for Humanity is one of the leading hotel supply companies in the US. We provide a one-window solution for hotel bedding and bathroom supplies. You can get quality hospitality supplies from top brands such as WestPoint Home & Hospitality, Ganesh Mills, 1888 Mills, Kartri, Thomaston Mills, Focus Product Group, and more. Contact us today if you want to benefit from discounted wholesale pricing on hospitality items.